Timeline of Events

. . . in the Bixby Area

1834 - 1889

U. S. Government relocated the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickesaw, Creek and Seminole Indian Tribes from eastern states to Indian Territory which is now part of Oklahoma.

1880

April 8 - Wealaka Post Office was established at present day Leonard OK

1881

Wealaka Mission was established northwest of present day Leonard OK.
June 9 - Broken Arrow OK Post Office was established.

1882

Wealaka Mission Boarding School opened as a joint effort between the Creek Nation and the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. Rev. William Lockridge was the first superintendent.

1889

Oklahoma Territory was opened to settlers.
July 1 - Sapulpa OK Post Office was established.

1893

November 1 - The U.S. Congress authorized the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes to enroll tribal members in Indian Territory. Former U.S. Sen. Henry Dawes of Massachusetts was named chairman. The enrollment commission is commonly known as the Dawes Commission.

1895

March 18 - Posey Post Office, named for Alexander Posey, was established west of present day Bixby. This post office was later moved to Mounds OK.

1896

July - Congress expanded commission's authority to include determining who belonged on Five Tribes' rolls.
May 20 - Fry Post Office was established between Broken Arrow and Bixby.
September - Nearly 75,000 apply to be added to the Dawes Rolls; all but 2,075 were rejected.

1897

June 7 - Congress extended jurisdiction of federal courts to citizens of Indian Nations and made tribal legislation subject to presidential approval.

1898

April 19 - Posey post office was moved and established as Mounds post office.
June28 - Curtis Act abolished tribal courts, giving Secretary of Interior authority over tribal affairs and provided for allotment to tribes that fail to ratify agreements.

1899

The Bixby Church of Christ was organized as a result of a tent revival.
April 1 - Creek Tribal allotment begins under the Curtis Act.
July 6 - A post office named honoring Tams Bixby was was established east of present-day Bixby.
November - The Methodist Episcopal Church & the Methodist Episcopal Church South shared a pastor.

1900

May - Creek Indian, Chitto Harjo (a.k.a. Crazy Snake), began agitating against enrollment.

1901

January - Chitto Harjo's followers met at Hickory Grounds and voted to form a separatist government.
January 27 - Federal troops from Fort Reno arrested Chitto Harjo and 96 of his followers.
June - Seminole Tribe allotment began.

1902

March 25 - Redbird Smith and seven other Cherokee 'Nighthawks' were jailed for refusing to enroll.
July 2 - Dawes Enrollment application deadline, except for newborns.

1903

Bixby First Baptist Church was chartered.
January 1 - Cherokee Tribe allotment began.
February 5 - Henry Dawes died. Tams Bixby was appointed chairman of the Dawes Commission.
April 15 - Choctaw and Chickasaw Tribal allotment began.
September - The Justice department and the Interior departments launch separate investigations into corruption charges against the Dawes Commission.

1904

February 20 - The Bonaparte-Woodruff Report confirmed that the Dawes Commissioners were guilty of conflict of interest. However, the report showed that corruption charges were exaggerated.
April 21 - Congress removed restrictions for some intermarried whites and freedmen.

1905

March 3 - Congress voted to abolish the Dawes Commission on July 1, replacing it with a single commissioner.
March 4 - Enrollment deadline for newborns.
May 24 - Tams Bixby was named commissioner of the Five Civilized Tribes.

1906

April 26 - Five Tribes Bill established final enrollment deadline of March 4, 1907. Claimants were allowed one more chance for appeal. The bill placed a 25-year restriction on 'fullblood' land.
June 16 - Congress passed the Oklahoma Enabling Act, enabling Oklahoma to become a state.

1907

February - A 42-foot bell tower was constructed at the First Baptist Church.
March 4 - Five Tribes' governments cease operations. All rolls were closed.
November 16 - Oklahoma became the 46th State.

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1908

Eight-month review of land transactions by the Union Agency legal department resulted in nearly 30,000 lawsuits.
May 27 - Congress removed restrictions on all Tribal allotments to whites, some 'mixed-bloods' and freedmen. Restrictions were retained for 'fullblood' and some mixed bloods. More than 11,000 requests to remove restrictions were filed the first year.
August 22 - Leonard OK post office was established.
November - First brick school building in Bixby was dedicated.
November 30 - The U.S. Supreme Court restored 160 names to the Dawes Rolls.

1909

February 13 - A Muskogee grand jury indicts Gov. Charles Haskell and three others, charging fraud in a Muskogee and Tulsa town lot scheme.
April 12 - First day of class was held in the new brick 2-story 6 room Bixby School.
June 30 - Fry Post Office was discontinued.

1910

Tribal allotments were substantially complete.
August 30 - Wealaka Post Office was discontinued.
September - Federal judge ruled statute of limitations had run out on charges against Governor Haskell. His case was dismissed.
November 21 - The sale of unallotted land began. Most was sold by 1913.

1911

The Methodist Episcopal Church building was dedicated.
September - A wagon bridge over the Arkansas River opened and was labeled the longest bridge in Oklahoma. The bridge structure was a little over one-half mile in length and stood thirty feet above the riverbed.

1914

Congress added 312 names to the Five Tribes' rolls and abolished the office of commissioner of the Five Civilized Tribes.

1915

The George Wiles Building was erected at the corner of Armb & Needles in Bixby.
The Church of Christ built their first permanent building at the corner of Dawes and Cabaniss.
Bixby Public Schools had a total enrollment of 240 students.
September - The Bixby School District received three new covered wagons to carry students to and from school.
Central School, located at the SW corner of 151st & Harvard, opened for classes.

1917

Bixby Ladies Civic League together with the Town of Bixby raised money and purchase the land at the southeast corner of Dawes & Cabaniss for the official Bixby City Park.

The new Liberty School building opened.
U.S. Supreme Court refuses to reopen the Five Civilized Tribes rolls.

1920

A new 2-story brick school building was built next to the existing Bixby School building.

1924

January 18 - Citizens Security Bank opened in Bixby.

1926

The Bixby First Assembly of God Church was organized.
August 20 - Kimes Gang, Matt & George, robbed the Farmers National Bank at Beggs OK of $5000.

1927

May 18 - Two carloads of gunmen, led by Matt Kimes, robbed two banks at Beggs, OK and escaped after a gun battle in which they killed Marshal W.J. McAnally.

1928

The Methodist Episcopal Church & the Methodist Episcopal Church South were combined to form Bixby First Methodist Church.

1932

August 8 - Fred Barker, of the Barker Gang, was identified as one of three men who robbed the Citizens Security Bank in Bixby OK of $1000.

1934

Stancliff School, southeast of Bixby, was closed due to low enrollment.
Indian Reorganization Act ends all allotment of Indian land.

1937

The first brick school building built in Bixby in 1908 was torn down to make room for a new grade school.

1938

Roberts Variety Store was built near the east end of Dawes Street in downtown Bixby. Owners Bill & Eloise Roberts.
December 9 - The collapse of the Bixby Arkansas River bridge on Highway 64.

1939

Central School, located at the SW corner of 151st & Harvard, was closed and students transferred to Bixby.

1947

December - The teacher quarters at the Leonard School burned to the ground.

1963

The original Church of Christ building was torn down to make room for a new church building.

1966

March - A fire at the Bixby High School campus destroyed several buildings.

1968

February 27 - First water fed into Bixby from Lake Bixhoma.

1972

Bixby City Park name was renamed Charley Young Park to honor Charley Young, a local business man and civic leader.

1976

May - George Wiles Building was torn down to make room for the new Citizen Security Bank.

1983

Bixby Historical Society was incorporated.

2001

Old Shellenbarger School building at Memorial & 131 Street South was raised to make room for commercial expansion.

2006

Lake Bixhoma water treatment plant closed.

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Reference:

Various Public Records
Rick Mattix & William J. Helmer, Evolution of an Outlaw Band: The Making of the Barker-Karpis Gang, 1995
Wamsley, Burkett, Ad-libs to Bixby History (Privately published, 1974)
Oklahoma Historical Society, Various records (Oklahoma City OK)
Bixby Historical Society, Various records (Bixby OK)
Mounds Historical Society, Various records (Mounds OK)
Tulsa World Archives, Tulsa OK
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